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Topical Collection "Sustainable Agri-Food Supply Chains: Advanced Engineering Strategies for Climate Change Mitigation"

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Editors

Dr. Riccardo Accorsi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna—Alma Mater Studiorum, Viale Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: operations management; food industry; decision-support systems; logistics and operations; sustainable production and distribution systems; supply chain network design; perishables management; sustainable operations; optimisation; simulation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Riccardo Manzini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna—Alma Mater Studiorum, Viale Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: Full professor of Industrial Engineering, he teaches Logistics and Facility planning at the School of Engineering, University of Bologna. His research interests and expertise include the design, management, control, and optimization of complex production and logistics systems. The field of his research activity deals with storage and warehousing systems, logistics of perishable products, food supply chain, automation of production systems and Industry 4.0, maintenance engineering including predictive maintenance, physical distribution, packaging, and environmental sustainability. He is the founder and director of the Food Supply Chain Center (http://foodsupplychain.din.unibo.it/) and the Warehousing Center (http://warehousing.diem.unibo.it/index.html) at University of Bologna. He is the co-editor of the book Sustainable Food Supply Chains: Planning, Design, and Control through Interdisciplinary Methodologies published by Elsevier and has served as a guest editor for the International Journal of Production Economics and Sustainability.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. J. Rene Villalobos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Informatics, Computing and Decision Systems, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 878809,Tempe, AZ 85287-8809, USA
Interests: energy demand side management; energy system optimization; energy in manufacturing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Marco Bortolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: production management; logistics; operations management; manufacturing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

As we write these lines, climate change is massively altering the dynamics and biomechanisms behind natural ecosystems, which are collapsing under an increasing human pressure resulting in pollution of air, water, and soil and unsustainable exploitation of nonrenewable natural and abiotic resources. Meanwhile, the global population is growing exponentially, together with the need to feed it. The agrifood industry, so tied to climate and dependent on natural ecosystems, is growing and expanding too to fulfill such a need.

This growth, blindly driven by profit, makes the food supply chain (FSC) processes (i.e., from agricultural phases to pretreating, from food processing to packing, including storage, transportation, waste management, and byproduct valorization) prime contributors to natural systems contamination, greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, and to climate change.  

There is an urgent need to provide engineering solutions, tools, and technologies that support the strategic design, tactical planning, and operational control of agrifood supply chain processes toward their sustainability and resilience.

This Special Issue (SI), entitled “Sustainable Agri-Food Supply Chains: Advanced Engineering Strategies for Climate Change Mitigation”, aims at collecting emerging models, methods, support-decision tools but also advanced technology able to incorporate environmental sustainability targets in the design and management and control of FSC ecosystems. Articles are expected to cover the entire chain from growers to consumers, using environmental and economic sustainability as the primary lenses of assessment. Whilst relevant papers focusing on quantitative predictive and prescriptive methodologies will be considered, preference will be given to those contributions able to provide empirical evidence and practical implications of the environmental benefits obtained in real-world food industry cases.

The authors of papers selected by the Scientific Committee of the 6th International Conference on Food and wine Supply Chain (8–11 June 2020, Bologna, Italy; https://eventi.unibo.it/6th-internationalconferencefoodsupplychain-bologna2020 ) will be encouraged to resubmit to this SI with a favorable publishing policy.

All papers will subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Dr. Riccardo Accorsi
Prof. Riccardo Manzini
Prof. Rene J. Villalobos
Dr. Marco Bortolini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Land-use planning and agricultural systems design
  • Planning tools to aid penetration of renewables in FSC
  • Resources optimization and management in primary growing/farming
  • Remote sensing and machine learning in agriculture
  • Optimization in sustainable food supply chain operations management
  • Simulation techniques applied to agricultural, processing, conservation, and distribution phases
  • Emerging energy-effective technology in food processing
  • Food production scheduling and innovative facility/equipment design
  • Food packaging network design and management strategies
  • Climate-driven decision-making for food storage and distribution management
  • Low-carbon food logistics and distribution
  • Decision-support platform for low carbon FSC design and planning
  • Internet-of-Things in FSC management and control
  • Predictive and prescriptive methods in food safety/quality management
  • Zero-waste closed-loop chain planning and by-products valorization

Published Papers (3 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2021, 2020

Article
Supply Chains: Planning the Transportation of Animals among Facilities
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2523; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032523 - 31 Jan 2023
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Pig supply chains conform differently depending on country; however, the industrial production of pig meat has led to an increasing specialization of agents taking part in the supply chain production. Nowadays, pigs are rarely produced in one single farm, the existence of specialized [...] Read more.
Pig supply chains conform differently depending on country; however, the industrial production of pig meat has led to an increasing specialization of agents taking part in the supply chain production. Nowadays, pigs are rarely produced in one single farm, the existence of specialized farms devoted to breeding, rearing, and fattening pigs being more common since this organization provides sanitary advantages against disease outbreaks. Management strategies such as batch management in sow and fattening farms add complexity to the production management. Pigs have to be transferred from facility to facility as they are growing and sent to the abattoir as soon as they reach commercial weight. All these stages involve either independent farmers or farmers integrated in some pig supply chain management organization operating with production contracts or cooperation agreements. This study presented the challenge of using a stochastic model for planning the transportation of animals among facilities in pig supply chains over time. The model provides an optimal schedule of transfers between farms, occupancy rate, and trucks involved. The integrality of several variables was relaxed, and further analysis was performed in view of inspecting the model behavior for achieving practical decision support. We demonstrated that we can achieve good enough results in few minutes and, so, practical use is feasible. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2020

Review
The 3Ps (Profit, Planet, and People) of Sustainability amidst Climate Change: A South African Grape and Wine Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052910 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3182
Abstract
Conventional agriculture has made the search for sustainability urgent, more so with regards to climate change. This has extended to the grape and wine industry, an important industry in South Africa in terms of labor employment and foreign exchange. This paper aims to [...] Read more.
Conventional agriculture has made the search for sustainability urgent, more so with regards to climate change. This has extended to the grape and wine industry, an important industry in South Africa in terms of labor employment and foreign exchange. This paper aims to review the current state of knowledge with regards to the three pillars of sustainability and with regards to climate change. In order to understand sustainability in South Africa, a historical context is needed, because the welfare of farm workers still retains vestiges of past Apartheid. Ecological responsibility and higher profits are the main reasons for sustainable practices. Additionally, water use, chemical use, and soil erosion are important environmental sustainability concerns. With regards to climate change, in terms of economic sustainability, there will be winners and losers and social sustainability issues will intensify as changes occur in farms. Table grape producers are relatively more profitable than wine grape producers. Furthermore, pest, disease, irrigation pressure will worsen as the climate warms. However, there are long- and short-term adaptation strategies such as changes in viticulture practices and grape cultivars, respectively, to stem the effects of climate change, but this may be stymied by cost and farmers’ perceptions of climate change. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2023, 2021

Article
A Multi-Objective Model for Sustainable Perishable Food Distribution Considering the Impact of Temperature on Vehicle Emissions and Product Shelf Life
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166668 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2406
Abstract
The food distribution process is responsible for significant quality loss in perishable products. However, preserving quality is costly and consumes a tremendous amount of energy. To tackle the challenge of minimizing transportation costs and CO2 emissions while also maximizing product freshness, a [...] Read more.
The food distribution process is responsible for significant quality loss in perishable products. However, preserving quality is costly and consumes a tremendous amount of energy. To tackle the challenge of minimizing transportation costs and CO2 emissions while also maximizing product freshness, a novel multi-objective model is proposed. The model integrates a vehicle routing problem with temperature, shelf life, and energy consumption prediction models, thereby enhancing its accuracy. Non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II is adapted to solve the proposed model for the set of Solomon test data. The conflicting nature of these objectives and the sensitivity of the model to shelf life and shipping container temperature settings are analyzed. The results show that optimizing freshness objective degrade the cost and the emission objectives, and the distribution of perishable foods are sensible to the shelf life of the perishable foods and temperature settings inside the container. Full article
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